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Pillar and Kirk Fell

Bocken Spectres in the Snow 

Remembrance Sunday 2013

Sunday 10/11/13 - Pillar and Kirk Fell

An excellent forecast for Sunday with frost and full sunshine so with some trepidation up early to drive to Wasdale Head to climb Pillar. Managed to park by 8:30 at a busy Wasdale Head with a number of people set for Great Gable on Remembrance Sunday. Good to be walking away from the crowds so early in the morning with the forecast proving accurate and the sun beginning to light up the fell sides. Wonderfully quiet in Mosedale and took the short cut towards the top of Looking Stead rather than follow the main path to Black Sail. Some snow/hail/frost dusting the fells above 1,500 feet adding to the clarity of the views. Stopped for elevenses just after the High Level Route in warm sunshine and then set off up the ridge of Pillar. Easy ascent and spectacular views over Ennerdale. Some cloud around but thin and quickly moving with sunshine never far away making for very atmospheric conditions. Excellent view point above Hind Crag for 11:00 although rather interrupted one couple's remembrance observation. Reached the summit well before 11:30 in thin cloud but moved over to the escarpment above Pillar Rock and were rewarded with fabulous views of Ennerdale and then Brocken spectres. Given the cloud restricting some of the view from the summit together with the ease with which we had climbed Pillar and how early in the day it was, decided to see if we could climb Kirk Fell in the afternoon. Enjoyed a wonderful descent to Black Sail along the escarpment with further Brocken spectres and an excellent lunch spot above Looking Stead eyeing the possible way up Kirk Fell. Spoke to a group coming down from Kirk Fell (the hard direct way) and so continued up the scree gully under Kirkfell Crag. Relatively straightforward but some rougher ground in moving back to the fence post path above Kirkfell Crag although overall a good ascent and excellent to be on the ridge path knowing that we would reach Kirk Fell summit. Had forgotten just how good the view is from the summit of Gable and the Scafells so enjoyed a long break. Decided to cross the summit and descent to Beck Head rather than the direct descent down the nose as still too early in the day given the superb conditions. Visited the second summit and some steepness in descent but no problems. The path from Beck Head was a bit rough but lovely to be completing the walk to Wasdale in the late afternoon with the sun setting. A wonderful walk having shown that Pillar and Kirk Fell are well within our compass and now with only Lingmell outstanding from our post Binsey round of Wainwrights.

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